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Davos 2022: A key milestone in a pivotal year for nature action

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Nature loss is now occurring globally, with biodiversity declining faster than at any time in human history.

Nature loss is now occurring globally, with biodiversity declining faster than at any time in human history. Image: Unsplash

Nicole Schwab
Co-Head, Nature Positive Pillar; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
Akanksha Khatri
Head, Nature and Biodiversity, World Economic Forum
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This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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  • Nature loss is now occurring globally, with biodiversity declining faster than at any time in human history.
  • The Annual Meeting in Davos is a crucial milestone in a potentially pivotal year for the safeguarding of nature.
  • Here is what six leaders from government, international organizations, businesses and the finance sector are doing to advocate for change and lead the charge when it comes to nature.

Nature loss is now occurring globally, with biodiversity—the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems— declining faster than at any time in human history. Facing the interlinked crisis of climate action, nature loss and social inequality, governments, businesses, civil society, financial institutions and investors are all starting to take action.

The Annual Meeting in Davos is a crucial milestone in a potentially pivotal year for the safeguarding of nature – taking place right after the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) COP15, and in the lead up to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) COP15 summit. Here, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is poised to be adopted to set clear global targets on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.

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The Annual Meeting will galvanise government and business to align on concrete actions and decisions to accelerate the nature-positive transition. Leaders will convene around a series of key events around nature at Davos, such as:

To see all sessions at Davos, please click here.

The Davos spirit is embedded in strong collaboration between public and private actors. Six leaders from government, international organizations, businesses and the finance sector are all advocating and leading the charge.

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'Reflect on the value of natural systems'

Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment of the United Kingdom

“We cannot afford to carry on degrading the natural world in the way that we are. Our future prosperity – indeed our survival - depends on shifting investment away from the destruction of nature and towards its restoration. As articulated by the Dasgupta Review our economies are embedded in nature; not external to it. We therefore must accurately reflect the value of natural systems and the goods and services we derive from them into our decision-making, as the UK is committed to and working on.”

'Embrace the solutions nature offers'

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

“At the resumed fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly in March 2022, we saw Member States take decisive action for nature and for sustainable development. Member States agreed to kick-start negotiations to arrive at a legally binding global treaty to end plastic pollution and we saw countries coming together to agree for the first time, on a multilaterally agreed definition of nature-based solutions. I cannot underscore the importance of this agreement because as we stare down at a triple planetary crisis of climate, of nature and biodiversity loss, and of pollution and waste – it is critical that we embrace the solutions that nature offers to the challenges we face.”

'Businesses depend on nature to exist'

Roberto Marques, Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Natura &Co

“Businesses depend on nature to exist. We must work together as a community with science, governments and civil society to measure our reliance and impact on nature, invest in nature positive solutions and embed a respect for nature in our business models. Natura &Co has set ambitious targets including the protection of 3million hectares of Amazonian forest while also committing at least $100m to developing regenerative solutions, designed to work in harmony with both people and the planet. We are joining with partners to advocate for a new agreement on nature with the same ambition and instruments as the Paris Agreement on climate.”

'A once-in-a-decade opportunity'

Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF

“This year, leaders have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to agree on a global plan to tackle biodiversity loss. With the destruction of nature increasing our vulnerability to pandemics and threatening the global economy, it is essential that the plan adopted at the COP15 biodiversity conference in Kunming is as ambitious, science-based and comprehensive as the Paris Agreement on climate change.

WWF is one of the many organizations that support the goal of being ‘nature positive’ by 2030. This means taking action now to ensure we reverse the loss of biodiversity and end the decade with more nature, not less, measured through increasing the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, populations and ecosystems.”

'Management of natural capital is key'

Dr. Mirjam Staub-Bisang, CEO BlackRock Switzerland and Senior Advisor to BlackRock Sustainable Investing

“For us, natural capital is an investment issue. Given the growing pressures on the natural ecosystems from which many companies derive economic benefits, businesses will increasingly face financial risks and opportunities associated with their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. Overall, we need to recognize that natural capital is a complex issue and ecosystems are interconnected. As a result, we view the careful management of natural capital as a core component of a resilient long-term corporate strategy for companies that rely on the benefits that nature provides.”

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What is the World Economic Forum doing about nature?

'Hold each other accountable for delivery'

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund

“Commitments must be turned into actions -- and we must all hold ourselves and each other accountable for delivery. This requires credible and accessible data and standardised metrics. At the Bezos Earth Fund, we have set aside $3 billion to drive forward a three-fold nature agenda – conservation, restoration, and food-systems transformation. We are committed to tracking the state of these transitions and understanding what drives effective change, for example via our Systems Change Lab, so we can be most impactful in this decisive decade ahead.”

The words of these Champions for Nature echo those of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission in her message at the 2021the Davos Agenda, “We all benefit from nature and we all benefit from the protection it gives us. So I think we all have to play our role in this game.”

The 2022 Davos meeting will further the momentum for concrete pathways towards a nature-positive economy and society.

Related topics:
Forum InstitutionalNature and Biodiversity
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Contents
'Reflect on the value of natural systems''Embrace the solutions nature offers''Businesses depend on nature to exist''A once-in-a-decade opportunity''Management of natural capital is key''Hold each other accountable for delivery'

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